DISCOUNT supermarket chain Aldi is proposing to open its fourth Ballarat store at Wendouree.
A planning application for a 1539-square-metre Aldi supermarket at the Eureka Homemaker Centre on Learmonth Road will be considered by the Ballarat City Council tonight.
It comes after hardware giant Masters opened its doors at the complex in August.
Aldi would be on the southernmost retail block and would operate Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 7.30am to 7pm.
The application, which was not advertised before going to a council meeting, states the supermarket would be beneficial to the local economy, providing 50 new jobs.
Council officers have recommended its approval.
But Stockland Wendouree complex owner Stockland Development Pty Ltd has lodged an objection, arguing the proposal to establish a supermarket in a designated “bulky goods precinct” was inconsistent with planning policy.
The site has historically been zoned for bulky goods purposes, but Planning Minister Matthew Guy recently revised it to Commercial 2, in which a small-scale supermarket was allowed.
The Aldi store would occupy less than 4 per cent of the approved homemaker centre and not detract from the functioning of other activity centres in the city, according to the planning application.
Council officers said the former Bulky Goods Retailers Association supported small-scale supermarkets in bulky good precincts, given the likelihood of an enhanced shopping experience for customers and increased job opportunities.
If approved, Aldi will have four supermarkets in Ballarat, including current sites at Alfredton, Sebastopol and Creswick Road.
A multibillion- dollar joint venture between Woolworths and US-based home improvement chain Lowes, Masters opened a 13,500 square metre ‘big box’ store at Learmonth Road earlier this year.
Surrounding Masters will be 15 speciality shops that will combine to form the homemaker centre.
Several of the stores are already leased.